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Should You Use Bakuchiol or Vitamin C? Here’s the Easy Answer

by Ella Goodman 05 Jun 2024

Hey there, skin care enthusiasts! 

Wondering whether to hook up with bakuchiol or pledge your loyalty to the reigning skin care champ, vitamin C? 

Well, it's time to bust the confusion and dive deep into the glowing details. 

Bakuchiol vs Vitamin C: Which is Better for Your Skin?

Both of these powerhouse ingredients have earned their stripes in the skincare world, 

but which one deserves a prime spot in your routine? Let’s get into it and figure out which one will make your skin sing.

Bakuchiol vs Vitamin C: Which is Better for Your Skin?

Bakuchiol: The Gentle Powerhouse

Meet bakuchiol, the underdog turned superstar. 

Derived from the Psoralea corylifolia plant, bakuchiol is often dubbed the natural alternative to retinol. 


Because it delivers similar anti-aging benefits without the drama (read: irritation and redness) that retinol can bring. 

Here’s the lowdown on what bakuchiol can do for you:

  1. Anti-Aging Magic: Say goodbye to fine lines and wrinkles. Bakuchiol boosts collagen production, keeping your skin plump and youthful.

  2. Antioxidant Hero: This plant-based wonder shields your skin from environmental nasties and free radicals, preventing premature aging.

  3. Calm and Collected: With its anti-inflammatory properties, bakuchiol is perfect for sensitive skin. No more redness or irritation!

  4. Texture Transformer: Regular use of bakuchiol can lead to smoother, more even skin. It’s like an Instagram filter, but in real life.

Vitamin C: The Brightening Boss

Next up, we have vitamin C, the brightening champion and everyone’s favorite skincare cheerleader. 

Known scientifically as ascorbic acid, vitamin C is a potent antioxidant that works wonders for your skin. 

Here’s why you’ll love it:

  1. Glow Getter: Vitamin C is famous for its ability to brighten your complexion and fade dark spots. It’s your go-to for that lit-from-within glow.

  2. Collagen Booster: Just like bakuchiol, vitamin C ramps up collagen production, helping to firm your skin and reduce wrinkles.

  3. Defender of the Realm: It neutralizes free radicals and protects your skin from environmental damage and UV rays. Think of it as your skin’s personal bodyguard.

  4. Healing Hands: Vitamin C aids in skin repair and regeneration, making your skin look healthier and more vibrant.

The Face-Off: Bakuchiol vs. Vitamin C

Now that we know what each contender brings to the table, let’s compare:

Effectiveness: Both bakuchiol and vitamin C are incredibly effective, but in different ways. Bakuchiol is your anti-aging, skin-smoothing buddy, while vitamin C is the brightening, spot-fading hero.

Tolerance: Bakuchiol is the gentler of the two, making it a great option for those with sensitive skin. Vitamin C, though powerful, can sometimes cause irritation, especially at higher concentrations.

Usage: Vitamin C is best used in the morning to protect your skin from daily environmental stressors. Bakuchiol, on the other hand, can be used both day and night, giving you more flexibility in your skincare routine.

So, Which One Is Better?

Drumroll, please... The answer is: it depends on your skin’s needs! 

If you’re looking to tackle fine lines and improve skin texture without irritation, bakuchiol is your new best friend. 

If brightening and fading dark spots are your main goals, vitamin C is your go-to.

Can I use bakuchiol and vitamin C together?

Yes, you absolutely can pair bakuchiol and vitamin C in your skincare routine! 

But the devil's in the details, so let's dive deep into how they work together.

First up, a quick recap of what these power players do:

Bakuchiol, hailed as a gentler alternative to retinol, is a botanical powerhouse. Its potent antioxidants protect the skin from environmental stressors.

Vitamin C? It's a brightening superstar, helping to fade hyperpigmentation and boost collagen production.

So combining them sounds like a dream-team, right? 

Well, it is! But there's a specific way to do it.

Using both bakuchiol and vitamin C during the day can give your skin a wonderful boost. They’ll work synergistically, each enhancing the other’s strengths. Together, they'll help brighten, protect, and firm your skin, giving you an undeniable glow.

However, a small clarification is needed here. 

Remember our friend bakuchiol is called a “gentler alternative to retinol” for a reason. Unlike retinol, which can make your skin more photosensitive, bakuchiol doesn't have that problem. So it's safe to use during the day with vitamin C.

It's important to note - ensure you conduct a patch test beforehand. This is to ensure your skin does not have any adverse reactions to either product.

But as we always say, everyone’s skin is unique. 

Yes, most skin types can happily team up bakuchiol and vitamin C. But it's worth speaking to your dermatologist or skincare professional before you embark on this radiant combination. 

Finally, remember to apply a broad-spectrum SPF after your serums in the morning. Regardless of what products you're using, protecting your skin from the sun is a non-negotiable step in any skincare routine.

Now onto the "how."

Should I apply bakuchiol before or after vitamin C?

Okay, you’ve got bakuchiol and a vitamin C serum in hand and now, you’re stumped about what to do next. 

Have no fear! I've got you covered. The answer to the application sequence of bakuchiol and vitamin C is not as complicated as you might think. 

So, let's get to it!

There’s a simple principle when it comes to layering skincare products. 

The rule? Lightest to heaviest. Following this thumb rule is vital, as it ensures each product gets absorbed properly without interfering with the others. 

Given that, where do bakuchiol and vitamin C fit in? 

Vitamin C, aka the glow-getter, is typically a water or glycerin-based serum. It's lightweight and fast-absorbing, making it an excellent starting point post-cleansing. 

Coat your skin with this citrusy superhero first thing to tackle issues like uneven skin tone, hyperpigmentation, and fine lines. 

But remember, vitamin C can be acidic. If your skin feels dry or irritated post-application, it might not be the first knight in your skincare battalion.

Now, enter bakuchiol – the natural contender to retinol. 

Wow, right? Most bakuchiol products are oil-based serums or creams, and they are denser than the lightweight vitamin C. 

Bakuchiol's mission is to boost collagen production, improve skin elasticity, and smooth wrinkles. It’s like sending your skin to the gym!

Given their consistencies, the ideal regimen would be to apply the vitamin C serum first, wait for it to fully absorb, and then follow up with your bakuchiol product. 

But wait! 

This sequence is primarily recommended for your night-time routine. 

Why? Because the potency of vitamin C can be compromised when exposed to sunlight, plus bakuchiol works best during those beauty sleep hours. So, slather them on, get some rest, and let these go-getters work their magic.

Now, I can see you twiddling your thumbs wondering about your morning routine. 

Good news! Vitamin C can also be a great way to kick-start your day. Just be sure to follow up with a broad-spectrum sunscreen (SPF 30 or higher) to protect it from the sun.

To sum it up, when it comes to bakuchiol versus vitamin C, it's not about choosing sides. Instead, it's about joining forces and acing the application sequence. 

And, in this product layering game, remember that everyone's skin is unique. Start slow, observe your skin's response, and tweak your regimen as necessary. 

What CAN'T you mix with bakuchiol?

Oh snap, bakuchiol can’t hang with everyone

Get this - while bakuchiol is great and all, it can be a little selective with its company. 

If you've been loyal to retinol, I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but you may have to let one go for a while. The chemistry between retinol and bakuchiol, while fascinating, can be downright disruptive for your skin's peace.

Now, it is possible to use them together, but only if you really know what you’re doing.

But otherwise, both ingredients battling for spotlight dominance could lead to a kerfuffle of irritation on your precious skin. 

Oh, and a quick note – if there are any cell turnover boost-makers lying around in your skin kit, give ‘em the cold shoulder whilst you're courting bakuchiol. Especially if you have sensitive skin, it's crucial you avoid amping up the turnover throttle too hard, too fast.

Answering those burning questions

Alright, now that we've spilled all the juicy details, it’s time to tackle some frequent flyers which have been bounced our way about this bakuchiol-vitamin C gig. 

Is bakuchiol the same thing as vitamin C?

Ahh, the tangled web we weave. So, both are really good for you, but their super-skills aren't exactly identical twins. Vitamin C is the mastermind behind the skin-brightening voodoo it does, and it also specializes in evening out skin tone. Bakuchiol, on a different note, has a  talent that closely mirrors retinol's — it builds up the skin's elasticity and firmness. All great talents, just different.

Does bakuchiol make vitamin C redundant?

Mmm, not quite. Glam as bakuchiol is, it doesn't quite replace all of vitamin C's abilities. So, for a comprehensive skincare regimen, having both these high-achievers on your team would be a smart move.

Is it cool to use bakuchiol daily?

Most signs point to 'yes', but always tune into your skin's responses! Test the waters with a bi-daily application maybe, and if your skin responds with a sunny 'thumbs up', then gradually increase county Bakuchiol's estate on your face.

The upshot? Both bakuchiol and vitamin C can enter your skin's circle of trust. 

The biggest win is in identifying your skin's particular needs and tailoring your use of these champions accordingly. 

Now, with all this firepower at your fingertips, go on and slay that luscious glow, you diva you!

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